Food Development Director
at Gousto in London
Gousto is one of Europe’s best funded and fastest growing independents. Our business is recipe boxes and our opportunity is enormous – one billion meals are eaten in the UK every week! We’re just scratching the surface on our mission to help families enjoy good food.
Powering our business with cutting edge technology, we use data and tech to put customers first. Artificial intelligence drives everything we do, from the recipes customers see on our website, to how we put the boxes together. We’re proud of our industry-leading product and service, which helps our customer enjoy the good food, they want.
It’s an exciting time to join Gousto. We’ve secured £28 million more funding, launched even more product ranges and continue on our mission to help UK families serve up 400 million tasty and nutritious meals by 2025.
Join us on our hugely exciting and rewarding journey!
ABOUT THE ROLE
As Food Development Director you will sit at the heart of the business and own the development of our core product – amazing recipes! You will be responsible for what we develop in our kitchen, what we show on the menu each week, and how we evolve our recipes and our processes over the long term. You will be passionate about food with a deep understanding of food quality.
Given the importance of food to our business, you will work closely and in an influential manner with most teams in the business, including Buying, Operations, Brand, Marketing, Web Development and Data Science. You will lead our current team of 12 and help build the right team for the future as we continue to scale.
You will be based at our head office (The Shepherds Building Central, Shepherd’s Bush, London W14 0EE), which is fitted with a brand-new development kitchen.
An overview of key responsibilities is as follows:
Recipe Development – coach and develop our food development manager, their team of 7 recipes developers and our food nutritionist as they design amazing and innovative recipes which meet our customers’ needs (taste, variety, value for money, family friendly, healthy, dietary needs, etc) and which balance both operational and commercial considerations. Challenge our processes to ensure that they are continuously optimised.
Menu Design – coach and develop our merchandising manager and team of 2 to ensure that we put in place a menu each week which carefully balances customer, operational and commercial needs.
Insight – keep up to date with current food trends, bringing the outside in to ensure that we are keeping at the forefront of new and seasonal food trends and techniques. Work closely with our head of insight to ensure that our recipes are responding to our customers’ needs.
Ingredient planning – work in close collaboration with our buying team to ensure that we give good notice of our ingredient needs and volumes and work together to come up with new and innovative solutions to help create excellent new recipes (with new ingredients) whilst factoring in operational considerations and minimising food waste.
Merchandising – work in close collaboration with our brand, marketing and Web development teams to ensure that our customers have good visibility and therefore take up of our products. Examples may include working with brand to develop a new TV campaign which showcases our amazing recipes, working with the CRM team to build a Christmas campaign to sell a new seasonal offering or working with Web Development to better merchandise a new range. Line manage our photographer and food styling team.
Technical – work in close collaboration with our Spalding (Factory) team to ensure that we adhere to all relevant food legislation, regulations and external guidelines. Put in place processes to professionalise and audit our recipe testing processes.
Incident management – support the business Incident Management processes as required. Quickly react to any minor issues (e.g. an ingredient no longer being available), working with buying and operations to come up with quick, resourceful solutions. Work closely with brand, PR and technical to deal with any potential more major issues (e.g. food contamination), having a plan in place in advance for any eventuality.
Future strategy – work in close collaboration with the data science team to evolve our menu planning as we increase the number of recipes available to customers but in an increasingly personalised and customised fashion.
- Team leadership – leading and shaping a large and growing team
- Food – passionate about food with a deep understanding of food quality
- Food development – knowledge and experience of food development cycles
- Customer focused – turn insight into action
- Commercial – balance the needs of the customer and financials
- Technical – a thorough understanding of current food legislation to ensure we develop and market safe and legal food recipes.
- Process design – design and implement improved ways of working
- Systems – have worked with and developed gated NPD processes to ensure structure and control in the food development cycle.
- Collaborative – work closely with and influence other senior leaders within the business
- Organisation and time management skills
- Proactive & driven to succeed
- Recipe development experience e.g. as a chef (helpful but not essential
- Holidays – 22 days of holiday (plus bank holidays) increasing by a day each year up to 25 days
- Option to buy up to 5 additional days of annual leave
- Discounted Gousto boxes – 40% staff discount on Gousto boxes and 25% for your family and friends
- Coffee/ Tea, fruit and ice cream provided every single day to keep you fresh
- Friday social – Wine, beer and soft-drinks
- As many new recipes to test cook as you can handle
- Gym Membership
- Childcare vouchers
- Cycle to work scheme
- Quarterly team socials and mixed team events
We are hugely committed to equality of opportunity in all areas of Gousto. We employ over 20 nationalities and think it’s deeply important to have all genders represented in all functions and levels. All individuals will be treated in a fair and equal manner and in accordance with the law regardless of age, disability, gender, pregnancy and maternity, marital status, race, religion or sexual orientation.
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